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At Faircourt Dental Smile Studio, Dr. Mary Sue Stonisch wants you to experience the difference modern dentistry has to offer.

Mary Sue Stonisch, D.D.S. runs a general and preventative dental practice with expertise in aesthetics and implant dentistry. She is an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and a Diplomat with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Dr. Stonisch also teaches Dentists as a mentor at the Kois Center in Seattle.

Men – Let A Healthy Smile Support A Healthier Heart

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I’d like to take the opportunity to share some important information for the men in our lives. Men, specifically, need to take good care of their oral health – for the well-being of the smiles we love as well as that surrounding their hearts. Yes, their hearts.

The heart and oral health are actually very much related. It begins with bacteria in the body.

The body contains an enormous variety of bacteria. Bacteria is often frowned upon as being harmful, but some have a beneficial role in the body. For example, certain bacteria in the “gut” enhance the process of digestion, helping the digestive system operate more efficiently. However, some bacteria are indeed bad. And, when too much of the bad bacteria invade the body, the immune system becomes overburdened.

In bacteria overload, the body’s natural defense response – white blood cells – aren’t always able to conquer infection. And, that’s what periodontal (gum) disease is – an infection in the gum tissues. This infection is so destructive that it is able to damage the structures beneath the gums that support natural teeth.

According to a report on the health of Americans (published by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), it is estimated that over 47% have some form of gum disease. As a dentist in Grosse Pointe, I have a close-up view of the damage these bacteria can cause. Although people often focus on having a smile that is appealing, what lies beneath the teeth and gums can wreak havoc on one’s health far beyond the mouth.

When the gum tissues can no longer combat the onslaught of bacteria, initial signs of periodontal disease are typically frequent bad breath along with swollen, tender, and dark red gums that bleed when brushing. As they amass in number, the gums weaken, tear, and allow entry of bacteria into the bloodstream.

Through these tears, the infectious bacteria in the bloodstream can trigger systemic inflammation. Because of this, research has found links with these bacteria to serious health conditions, including heart disease.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (www.perio.org),

“Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.

“Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.

“Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures.”

Now armed with this knowledge, cardiologists are more often advising their patients to be evaluated periodontally prior to heart surgery. As mentioned above, gums that bleed are a sign of gum disease. These oral bacteria, given an opportunity to enter the bloodstream, are able to travel anywhere. The advanced stage of gum disease – periodontitis – is correlated to either trigger the onset or worsen the development of a number of serious health problems.

In addition to heart disease, these include stroke, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies, some cancers, erectile dysfunction (ED), dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Gum disease is also the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. And, studies have shown that the loss of natural teeth compromises the digestive process, social confidence, and one’s lifespan.

While a healthy smile is important to both genders, older adults should pay particular attention to having a healthy smile. By CDC estimates, approximately 13% of adults aged 65 – 74 have no teeth. For people ages 75 and older, that number jumps to 26%.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men are less likely to sufficiently maintain their oral health. Hopefully, knowing the health risks associated with poor oral health, men will become more diligent in their time at the sink. And, for those who’ve delayed having regular dental visits, our dental cleanings and check-ups can provide a “fresh start” for healthy smiles and better overall health.

If dental fears have prevented you or someone you love from having regular dental care, consider beginning with a consultation. In our Grosse Pointe Woods dental office, we offer oral or I.V. sedation (“twilight sleep”) to help patients relax or sleep during dental procedures. Call 313-882-2000 to schedule. Or, tap here for directions to our convenient location.

May the men in your life enjoy healthy smiles that are shared often!









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